Bittersweet - Heading Home

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Unless you follow us on Twitter (Julia, Yuriy), you probably don't even know that we're headed home this weekend. Being a sad topic, we haven't been bringing it up too often on the blog. Now as we sit at the airport with a 12 hour layover in Seoul (before heading to Seattle), there's no avoiding the topic. Instead of being negative about it, we decided to come up with a happy list of all the things we're looking forward to at home.

- friends & family -- first and foremost!
- meeting our new niece, Liana (Yuriy's brother welcomed his 1st baby on 02/11) 
- our very own Ikea bed -- better than any hotel bed
- having a closet 
- free internet at all times (we're usually hunting for cafes with internet in every city we visit and get deeply disappointed when our hotels don't have wireless)
- tennis
- rock climbing
- mountain biking
- kayaking (what can I say.... we haven't been very active these past 6 months)
- driving our own cars (on the right side of the road!)
- cell phone service -- I don't know if I remember how to text fast
- cooking at home
- a washing machine
- Starbucks -- we made a promise not to have it abroad (even though its all over the place), though we cheated once on Christmas Day
- church & worship -- we've been listening to sermon podcasts, but it's not nearly the same as being there every Sunday
- mama's cooking
- nieces and nephews
- our hammock on the balcony
- teriyaki restaurants (Yuriy's fave lunch and Seattle has loads of them)
- decorating our first home together -- we lived separately prior to the wedding and can't wait to combine our tastes
- riding bikes together
- garage saling this summer
- having a blow drier and hair straightener (just Julia... hopefully)
- revisiting our favorite happy hour restaurants -- lamb burgers at Barolo, in particular
- a decent shower 
- jigsaw puzzles -- one of our favorite things to do on a quiet evening at home
- a fireplace (goes well with the puzzles)
- my guitar (Julia)
- having an office desk
- getting mail (and digging through the pile from the last 6 months)
- customer service at businesses -- America does it best
- legally changing my last name to Manchik (Julia)
- wearing my engagement ring (Julia) -- didn't want to take major bling traveling so I took it off and left it at home just 3 days after the wedding!
- wild blackberries -- only in sweet ol' Washington State
- sending off our first shop orders!
- having a coffee pot at home -- and no more Nescafe! (so many countries served this instant crap when you ordered coffee)
- buying Yuriy a new car -- we sold his before the trip 
- buying new electronics -- laptops, phones, iPad (we've fallen behind from the pack)
- snowboarding (Julia) & skiing (Yuriy)

See? There's a lot to look forward to! (and a lot we'll miss... like exploring new cities, eating yummy food every day, taking photos of charming streets/buildings, meeting new people, learning history, touring the world's biggest cities, sleeping in late, having long days with no plans, warm summer weather, laying on beaches......)

It's mind boggling that we will be home in Seattle by Sunday afternoon. It seems like it's all part of an old past life, but nope, it's the life that still exists.

Just so you know, we have a LOT left to blog about. We somehow fell behind on our posting (maybe we were busy traveling and enjoying ourselves) and are still writing about our time in Ukraine which was in December. Sifting through thousands of photos and writing about such incredible experiences can only be rushed so much. Since December, a lot has happened. We left blistery cold Europe for sunny Asia (visiting Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia) and completed our around-the-world-trip by driving down the Australian coast (checking out Sydney, Melbourne, and everything in between). So you can probably imagine how many photos we've accumulated! We can't wait to share it all here, so stick around. 

Now we have a 10 hour flight to catch and some tears to wipe away. 

- Julia and Yuriy


  1. I've had so much fun following you journey & look forward to seeing the rest of your trip!!!

  2. there is so much to look forward to and so much to appreciate from all of your experiences.

    reading that list made me so excited.
    i hope to meet you two soon, i imagine we'll be great friends :)

    you guys inspire me in more ways than you probably realize.

    lots of love, and thanks for letting us follow along on your journey.

  3. Have a good trip home and enjoy seeing all your family and friends!
    I am looking forward to see some more spectacular pictures soon!
    xox, Kristina

  4. Aww.. well welcome back home. you've truly entertained us the past while.

  5. Julia!!!!! Hope you guys have a safe flight back home! I think if I ever get married I will contact both of you to take my wedding photos here at Puerto Rico!!!!!!! hahahaha I'll make a good plan about it and then I'll let you know! You have a lot to remember now, all those beautiful cities, all those moments with Yuriy, all the laughter, all the new knowledge about the world that will be yours F O R E VE R!! Enjoyyyyyy* =) My boyfriend lives in Madison, Wisconsin... he's going to buy my postcards from your shop since it can't deliver to my beautiful islannnnd!! Sooo, I'll get them soon!!!!! Ciaooo*

    Ps. I'm a your follower on twitter now!!! <3

  6. just think about that you have many years left for new travels and adventures ;) and asia, lucky you! can't wait to read all about it.

  7. I can imagine the ambivalence you must be feeling right now - sadness at ending such an exciting and eye-opening trip mixed with anticipation of the comforts of home and reuniting with loved ones. I'm glad that you two have decided to document this trip and I look forward to all the coming posts about the end of your travels. Welcome home!

  8. Safe trip home guys! I am addicted to your blog and I am sad to hear that your traveling has come to an end. Though I am beyond excited to see Asia and Australia. Lovely :) Keep up the good posts!

  9. Aww - bittersweet it is! But as you listed - so much to look forward to at home (& yay to meeting your new niece!!) I look forward to reading all of the amazing posts that are yet to come...

    & hopefully this isn't the end of your travels!

  10. Awww so sad that your trip is coming to an end. I've had so much fun reading about your adventures! At least you can still re-live it a little bit with the blog posts. :) (ps as someone who used to live in Seattle I totally miss wild blackberries too!)

  11. it's so crazy that you're finally heading home! it's good to think about the positives, but i understand how it must be a little sad too.

    but i AM excited that you're heading home because that means we get to all meet up very soon! yay! so excited, my lady!

  12. what a fantastic journey!

    as bittersweet as you said this is, it's more than obvious that you two will be back on the road (or skies) again very soon.

    welcome home!

  13. I love looking through all your dreamy photos and hearing about your travels, so it's sad to know that your trip is ending. Your blog inspires me daily to go out and see the world! I hope you two have a safe flight home! returning home after a long trop always feels so good =)

  14. Dry those tears--I'm sure you'll be at again in no time. And I've found NOTHING makes me appreciate home and the mundaneness of everyday life like a little bit of travel (though our longest was 3 weeks, doesn't even compare to 6 months). You're probably almost home, but I'm still praying for your safe return :).Can't wait to see you guys and catch up on everything in just a few days!!!!

  15. when my husband and i were returning from over six weeks in morocco last april, the thing I thought i would miss most was just being him and me, all the time, every day, 24 hours a day. I dreaded returning to lives were we work at different places and spend lots of hours of the day apart. is this wierd to write a comment about? do you think you'll miss that part lots too? xx oo happy homeward bound!!

  16. Welcome home, guys, and even though it's bittersweet, this is an experience that is so incredible, it will always be with you! I can't wait to see your the rest of your trip and relive it with you two!

  17. Have a very safe flight you two!! Thank you so much for sharing your trip; I'll definitely be sticking around for the rest of the photos! It sounds as though you have a completely different but almost equally fun adventure lying ahead of you. Maybe you can keep us filled in on that, too? Ha! Enjoy being at home: my favorite bit after family & friends were always my bed and shower, as well!

  18. awe this post made me sad! coming back to reality can be a toughie. I hope you two can ease in gracefully.

  19. I'm sorry to hear that you are done with your travels, but welcome back. If it makes you feel any better the snow and rain have stopped and today (Saturday) the weather is beautiful. Hope it holds out.

  20. This has been so much fun. I'm looking forward to all the posts yet to come ... and I'm pretty sure you guys are not quite done with travelling ;-)

  21. WELCOME HOME! Seattle awaits you with open arms...and it's actually been relatively sunny this week!

  22. The feeling of leaving a week-long vacation makes me sad, I can't imagine after 6 months of being away... Have a safe trip back, and I'll be looking forward to reading about the duration of your trip!

  23. it is always sad to have to return to reality but I do look forward to your continued posts and photos

  24. I hope you had a safe trip back to Seattle. Though it's nothing like travelling, it's a good place to call home. :)

  25. I hope you had a smooth trip back, and thank you for sharing your pictures & adventures! :D Your pics and stories were so fun to look at & read through, and I hope that you have equally lovely adventures back at home.

  26. I love your list! It's so important to do that. It can completely change your mood as well : ] And beautiful Seattle (and its many, many Starbucks) welcomes you back!

  27. what an amazing experience! I'm so looking forward for reading your posts on south asia :))

  28. I've enjoyed your blog over the last few months! Thanks for writing =) Sounds like you have lots to look forward to back in Seattle too!

  29. Must be so strange to think about getting back into the thick of things in the 'real world'; I can't imagine being gone for six whole months! Have truly enjoyed all of your posts and can't wait to read about the rest of your adventures. Safe flight!

  30. I can't believe that you guys are home already!! I check your blog everyday to see if there is an update and at least there are still going to be some more posts coming, but once you are all caught up then what?! Oh man. :( You guys should do a photo blog of seattle!!

  31. I'm a former co-worker of Yuriy's. :) Congrats to you both and so glad to hear you've had an amazing trip. I look forward to seeing the rest of your photos! Welcome home!

  32. oh, i will miss your travels but very much look forward to all the new things you share.. and welcome home!!!!

  33. I LOVED following your journey! You went to many places I've been so it was wonderful to sort of reexperience the cities from your posts. I'm kind of happy you're behind on posts because I don't want your stories to end! Have safe travels home and all the best luck with married life :)

  34. so happy for the posts you've been made, i'll waiting for the next posts. and hope you have a good memories while in bali.visit us again anytime you want..

  35. I hope you'd a pleasant flight back, I am a new follower and I must say I love your blog already.

  36. ah, how bittersweet. we are in the middle of our time in england, and i can't imagine going home. everyday i ask my husband: what are we going to do when we don't live here.... but our list will be similar to yours. family, friends, church, home, good texas food....

    but man, it's much more scenic and nice living life this way.... :)

  37. I'm glad you still have some blogging left! I'm really going to miss following you along on your adventures. You should look to see how you can get paid to go on all these adventures :D Maybe write some sort of travel guide with your own photography. That would be great!

    I hope you have a safe flight home and keep thinking about those positive things. What a married life you've already had!

  38. I found your blog about a week ago, and absolutely fell in love with this idea! My boyfriend and I L-O-V-E to travel and are currently saving for a trip right now, but this is truly incredible.. and inspiring. It definitely gives me ideas and dreams for my own honeymoon someday. Thank you so much for sharing! You both are beautiful and amazing.

  39. ahhh! First of all, this blog is amazing! I can honestly say that it is now one of my favourites, after finding it only about 30 min ago!

    Secondly, I am almost upset that I hadn't seen this sooner. It's just my luck to start following you as soon as you're about to return home! However, I really look forward to reading all of your catch-up posts of the places that you haven't written about yet!

    As a fellow traveler, I will definitely follow this blog. As a fellow wedding photographer, I will also be following your photography blog :]

    Anyway, sorry for the ramble.. Enjoy returning to Seattle (from a girl named Seattle! haha) !

  40. Have a safe trip back home.
    It was very fun following you through your were definantly the topic of many conversations that we shared with our family and was such a awesome thing that you guys did what you did. I'm excited for your store. by the way, do you guys shoot family portraits? Or just wedding?
    you can email me at


    Olga (Pearl)

    Safe Travels!

  41. i've been visiting this blog since oct., but this is my first comment. thank you for taking us on your travels! you guys have taught me a lot about relationships and travel. i hope one day i can do what you two did. and thanks for keeping up with the blog, I'm beginning to realize how difficult it is starting my own...
    take care, and WELCOME HOME!

  42. Hi! I seen all your photos and I thing that they are amazing. Your photos inspired me to travel around the world and see knew things. What kind of camera did you use on your trip?

  43. Wow! You guys are amazing! What an amazing honeymoon!!! I wish we did that! I just can't imagine how much money we'd have to save up to go traveling for so long!!! Eating out every day, the hotels, airfare. wow! I bet it was all worth it!

    I really enjoyed reading about your adventures!!! Many blessings to you on starting your new life at home!!!


  44. Your life is truly amazing... I so enjoy looking through your pictures

  45. I finally caught up to you and read all the posts!!! I actually got confused and thought I'd skipped some when I got to this post and realized I'd seen none of Asia or Australia. I'm sure you have sooooo many stories and photos to sort through to share. No rush for us, though! Enjoy settling in back at home...I am sure it will feel really strange to stay in one place after so much movement! I can't wait to read the rest of the posts as they trickle in. You guys are amazing. :) xoxoxoxo meg

  46. I know you guys must be enjoying your time back home and catching up with all your loved ones, but I MISS YOU!!! :) I'm hooked on your guys' work and I want some more. Can I have my fix soon, please?

  47. I'm sure u were enjoying your trip home as much as u had to SEA. It's just too sad that u didn't get a chance to go to Malaysia. Do visit Malaysia when u set your travel gears again :)

  48. Hope you have a safe journey home. It must be bittersweet. :/ But you have such a great positive list running.. Good. :)

  49. Thanks to everyone for helping us ease into real life back home without too many tears and breakdowns! Your positive comments are so much appreciated. We are having a good time settling down at home. Hopefully we haven't tired you out yet and you'll stick around to hear about the rest of our travels.

  50. - customer service at businesses -- America does it best ....i could not agree more with that.

    i can totally relate. i know how hard it is to make the move back home. i've done it before (before moving back) and many a tear was shed.

  51. I've been following your blog for a couple of months now, but was randomly digging into some archives today. I found this post to be so sentimental and awesome, and I got even more excited when I read that you two are Christians. That just makes your travels and adventuring even cooler and more inspirational, because I know that you're praising the same God and admiring his creation. That's all I wanted to say! Keep the beautiful photos coming!


  52. Really enjoyed reading your happy list, you sound so grateful for all the little things in your life and I think that is so important!